As we work together let’s keep in mind that one another argument can bring us together through learning or tear us apart through insults. Here are some tips to “keep it clean and productive” if you are thinking about getting in a debate with someone you know, or about something you think you know.
It’s not like this list is meant to be a rule book, but it couldn’t hurt to think about these things next time you get heated about issues. If your purpose is to improve, unite, progress, or fix then I strongly suggest following it. If you enjoy yelling and making claims whether or not they are true or helpful because it makes you feel good, well – you have much more to worry about then winning a casual debate.
- Do you truly want to improve and/or find a solution to your problems.
- Do you have any facts or examples to back your claims? Can you simply show the source of the facts that upset your, or that you do not agree with to allow the conversation to progress forward?
- Is your comment contributing to a divide, or working to decrease one between the person you are arguing with, or the group or person you are talking about?
- Do any of your claims contradict another of your claims in anyway?
- Could you make a list of your claims to show there is not a contradiction?
- Is your statement inflammatory and/or does it question someone’s legitimacy based on your perception of their race, ethnicity, or religion?
- Are any of your claims based on the fact that you think someone is out to get you, purely for their hatred of you and/or the country they are trying to govern? Do you really truly think these people hate you and want to destroy the country they also live in?
- Can you write down the principle of what you AND they are arguing about? If not do so, or ask them to do so. Make sure you are arguing about the same thing at the same time.
If you think everything is going “down the drain” then what is it that yelling will do to change it? What do you win if you’re right? Work hard on making a difference through learning, discussing, and finding common ground.